With Nintendo’s recent showing of Pokémon Sword and Shield at E3, I thought today would be a fine time to celebrate an aspect of the series that I’m rather fond of.
It’s not the variety of new Pokémon to catch in each new installment. It’s not the new world to explore. It’s not the prospect of battling and trading in an attempt to assemble an invincible fighting team.
It is, of course, the fact that Pokémon as a series is absolutely overflowing with cute girls. And as a relative latecomer to the series (Moon was the first I really played seriously), clearly I have some catching up to do in this regard… so I asked my good friend and podcasting partner Chris who were some of his favourites. Let’s explore them together in no particular order!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Pokégirls, Vol. 1
Minigolf is, to borrow a phrase from a completely different sport, a funny old game.
Typically implied to be a rather silly, chaotic affair rather than something to be taken seriously, your average minigolf course nonetheless tends to include a variety of fiendish obstacles to negotiate, many of which will tax even the most skilled putters among us.
Kirby’s Dream Course, being a minigolf game that takes place entirely in a digitally rendered dreamworld, is free to do even more ridiculous things with its course design than would be possible in reality. And herein lies its main appeal.
Continue reading Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #2
I’ve always had a soft spot for Mario Bros. ever since I first encountered it — not on a Nintendo platform, as you might expect, but on the Atari 8-bit range of computers.
This 1983 arcade game from Nintendo isn’t the most fondly remembered installment in the portly plumber’s long-running adventures — but revisiting it today reveals it to still be a lot of fun and eminently worth playing.
Plus, if you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, it is, at the time of writing, one of the many NES games you get included as part of your subscription.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Mario Bros.
Last time around, we looked at how Castlevania’s overall mechanics and sense of game design can be traced forward to technical action games such as From Software’s popular titles.
Today, I wanted to focus on some other important and distinctive aspects of this original NES installment: specifically the platforming component, and the boss fights.
All of the elements we’ll have talked about by the end of today combine together to create the distinctive experience that is Castlevania — not just for this first game, but for much of the early series.
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania – #2
If there’s one thing Nintendo has absolutely always been good at, it’s sequels.
How do you follow up a big hit like Donkey Kong? More of the same? Some lesser companies might think that is a good way of doing things, but not Nintendo — even back in the ’80s. Instead, they chose to take a very interesting approach: they’d take the formula of Donkey Kong and flip it on its head, placing the previous game’s hero in the role of the villain, and tasking you with rescuing the titular big ape.
Donkey Kong Jr. was born, and Nintendo’s rapidly establishing reputation for creating simple to understand, difficult to master and highly addictive games was further cemented.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Donkey Kong Jr.
During my exploration of Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Kirby game other than, well, the unexpected.
I was expecting at least some of the games in the series to be relatively conventional platform games — and I know they’re there somewhere! — but the next one I happened to alight upon, courtesy of the SNES Mini’s built-in lineup of games, was Kirby’s Dream Course.
I had no set expectations for what Kirby’s Dream Course was going to be before firing it up for the first time. But I can tell you I didn’t expect it to be a thoroughly charming minigolf game!
Continue reading Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #1
Okay. Let’s talk about how this game looks, because it’s a real highlight of the experience.
One of the things I really like about the Nintendo of the Wii U and Switch generations in particular is the fact that they’ve demonstrated themselves to not be afraid of experimenting with aesthetics and overall style — though there’s a certain amount of internal consistency there, too.
Specifically, it’s all about Nintendo’s desire to make interactive experiences that are as much “toys” as they are “games”. And Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush is a great example of this at work.
Continue reading Delving into Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush – #2